Joe Cole made more than 100 appearances for West Ham from 1998 to 2003.
Joe Cole made more than 100 appearances for West Ham from 1998 to 2003.
Andrew Powell/Getty Images

Former England midfielder Joe Cole has returned to boyhood club West Ham on an 18-month contract after leaving Liverpool on a free transfer.

Liverpool signed Cole from Chelsea in 2010 but he was sent off in his first match and missed a penalty in his second, setting the tone for a miserable time at the club. He then spent a season on loan at French team Lille.

Cole scored five goals in 42 matches in all competitions at Liverpool.

He says of his first spell at West Ham from 1998 to 2003 that "this is where I learnt my trade and I'm happy to have another chance to be here.''

Cole won eight major trophies at Chelsea, including three Premier League titles, and played 56 times for England.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.